You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time and a third of the people one more time.
Because that proved enough to form another government for our prime minister: an increasingly strange fellow indeed, one who now appears to be slipping the very bonds of credulity and floating away in some dreamscape of his own imagining.
Yep, Justin Trudeau is back with a whimper rather than a bang for his third term after the Grits managed to eke out a mere 32 per cent of the popular vote a few weeks ago in an election nobody wanted, not even the fellow who called it by the time voting was actually underway.
The result showed Groundhog Day was indeed an insightful movie as the Liberals returned to power despite garnering about 200,000 fewer votes than the Tories, proving yet again those believing we live in a true democracy, as opposed to a federalist system where some areas of the country count more than others, likely still believe in Santa Claus as well.
The Liberals don’t care, of course. Trudeau’s best buddy and former principal secretary Gerald Butts was soon tweeting out his congrats to the party’s ‘super geniuses’ for managing to squeeze more seats out of fewer votes.
No wonder more than three quarters of Canadians told pollsters following the election they feel our country is more fractured than ever. (In Alberta a stunning 88 per cent of folk said they felt that way.)
And those dismal findings on national unity came before Trudeau displayed, once again, he lives in his own strange world in which words and actions have no correlation; that being prime minister is akin to staring in some Broadway production, where, once the curtain comes down, the lead actor can forgo his role and simply go off and do as he pleases.
So what if you’ve waxed lyrical with a tear in your eye and a hitch in the voice while pushing through the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.Why should that prevent you from nipping off across the country for a nice bit of surfing in Tofino on the very day everyone else in Canada was supposed to be earnestly soul searching?
As one wise Indigenous chief pronounced, if it had been a week before the election instead of the week afterward, then Trudeau would have arrived on bended knee at some suitably somber ceremony with his surfboard packed well out of sight.
Ah, but to misquote Lady Macbeth: “A little apology clears us of this deed”: Yes, that trusty Trudeau standby, the heartfelt ‘sorry’, was rolled out a few days later, thus showing his third term is going to be no different from the first two.
What’s so worrying is this reckless, entitled behaviour shows no sign of ending. Sure, we all make mistakes, but most of us learn from them and eventually the penny drops.
That’s not the case with our prime minister. From constant ethical breaches, to Blackface scandals to fanciful tweets welcoming anyone and everyone to Canada, he plows ahead despite the collateral damage inflicted on those innocent folk who actually believe any word he says.
Such bizarre behaviour is frightening from a leader of a major country. Actually, it would be scary coming from someone in charge of the local neighbourhood watch program.
Yet there are no repercussions. Life simply flows along while he gets ready for another performance before his audience. Sadly, there were enough of them still fooled by the constant playacting to extend his run in this theatre of the absurd.
Chris Nelson is a syndicated columnist.